Spring veggies are just about ready in my part of the country. The farmers markets are starting to get loaded up with beautiful produce and this couscous dish is one of my favorite ways to highlight so many of those veggies.
It starts with the veggies
With so many beautiful veggies popping at my farmers markets and in my grocery store it was hard to choose which veggies to use for this delicious salad. First I knew I wanted to use peppers, red, yellow and orange. I love how sweet early spring peppers are and these were just perfect. Next I threw in an onion. I used a white onion, but a yellow or purple would work great.
Next came the eggplant. I just couldn’t resist them. Now I know not everyone is a fan of this beautiful purple treat, so if you want to replace it feel free. After the eggplant I grabbed yellow squash and zucchini, both of which I love, and when they are roasted they are even better.
The beauty of this side dish is you can add in any veggies you would like such as asparagus, cherry tomatoes, brussels sprouts (which I am doing next time), or even green beans. The options are endless. Make it perfect for you and your family.
Next comes the couscous
For me I am a fan of the Israeli Couscous. I love these little balls of yummy goodness, over the more grain like traditional couscous. Either would work great in this dish, but for me I choose the Israeli version.
I always cook my couscous in chicken stock. I find it adds just a little extra flavor, but if you want to keep it vegetarian you can use veggie stock or even water.
And now the Balsamic drizzle (& goat cheese)
For me the Balsamic drizzle is what makes this salad come together. It adds a bit of sweetness with a bit of a tang making each bite just about perfect. The drizzle when paired with the veggies and the couscous it makes for the perfect spring side.
If serving warm drizzle the dressing over the couscous and veggies once you have it in the serving bowl. I love it cold over salad greens and I wait and drizzle it over when serving.
If you do not want to make your own you can buy a balsamic reduction (Trader Joes has a great one) or you can use your favorite balsamic dressing.
I am also a BIG, BIG fan of the goat cheese crumbles. It adds a bit of creaminess and richness. You could use feta or cojita cheese if you wanted, or leave it out all together.
Welcome in Spring
A side to remember
This side is something that people will ask you to make over and over. It is just one of those dishes that people love, even if they don’t think they will. Trust me you need to make this.